The Upper East Region branch of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) has called on the government to, as a matter of urgency, disburse the three per cent of the Disability Fund under the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF).
The GFD explained that between the last quarter of 2016 and 2017, members of the GFD had not been able to access the Disability Fund; hence, most Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in the region were not able to pursue their education and embark on income-generating activities, thereby making their living conditions "unbearable".
Addressing a press conference at the end of a two-day capacity-building workshop in Bolgatanga to sensitise PWDs, district assembly core staff, members of the Disability Fund Management Committees (DFMCs) and GFD leaders, the President of the GFD, Mr David Aniah, pointed out that the Disability Fund, when it was introduced, was lauded by most institutions and organisations, including the GFD.
He, however, expressed regret that its smooth implementation had been fraught with some challenges which were created by the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), the PWDs and the DFMCs.
Mr Aniah mentioned some of the challenges as inadequate information on the fund, borrowing and diversion of the fund, sidelining the representatives of PWDs serving on the DFMCs, misapplication of the funds, misunderstanding of the composition and functions of the DFMCs, political interference and delays in the release of the fund.
"There are still some lapses in the disbursement of the fund which has some transparency and accountability issues even in this region," the president further stressed.
He expressed displeasure at the fact that the fund had not been released although it formed part of the budget for the 2017 fiscal year.
"This delay in the release of the fund is bringing untold hardship to PWDs in this region and so we entreat the administrator of the DACF to fast-track processes for the release of the fund to enable PWDs to pursue their respective activities in education and embark on income-generating ventures," Mr Aniah stated.
Messrs Alale Musah Bananga from Garu Tempane, Solomon Ndoyine from Nabdam and Clement Sampana from Tongo in the Talensi District all expressed misgivings about delays in the disbursement of the fund.
They noted that since the last quarter of 2016 till date, no fund had been released to their colleagues whose applications were still in the various districts.
They intimated that for those who were pursuing various courses in the universities, it had become very unbearable for them as paying for their fees and other charges at the universities had posed a great challenge.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Teere, a non-governmental organisation, Madam Patience Avea Ataabasum, observed that the overall objective of the workshop was to help put in place an effective monitoring system to ensure that the PWDs judiciously utilised the Disability Fund.
Source: Graphic Online